Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Perfection personified

It seems Stephen Merchant loves The Apartment as much as me.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

"The American has a European air"

"The American"The LA Times' John Horn talks to Anton Corbin, director The American (pictured with the film's star George Clooney).

When Joe met Edgar

Here's a link to video of Joe Cornish in conversation with Edgar Wright at the BFI Southbank last week.

Friday, 27 August 2010

First look: Rebecca Hall in The Awakening

That's the very lovely and talented Rebecca Hall in The Awakening, a supernatural thriller set in post-World War I England in 1921 which, according to ScreenDaily, follows a skeptical woman, Florence (Hall), who is invited by the headmaster of a countryside boarding school (Dominic West) to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting, only to have a chilling encounter which defies her rational beliefs.

The film, directed by Nick Murphy and co-written by Stephen Volk and Murphy, is currently in post.

Yesterday's viewing

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Before The Hunger

I've been a Tony Scott since The Hunger but even I haven't seen his debut feature, Loving Memory, credited to one Anthony Scott, which the BFI has just released on a Blu-ray/DVD combo.

I plan to get myself a copy soon enough, especially after reading this DVD Beaver review which calls it "a slow, meditative film that showcases Scott's ability to quietly and simply tell a story that is macabre, unsettling, and strangely sweet. To be sure, this is a very good film, and after finishing it, I couldn't help but wonder what else Scott might have in him. Even those who find themselves turned off by his post The Hunger oeuvre should find themselves pleasantly surprised by this truly wonderful film".

As I've written here before, I happen to be a big fan of Scott's post-The Hunger oeuvre — well, everything apart from Beverly Hills Cop 2 — so I'm certain I'm going to like this.

Made for 3D

Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D is good, gratuitous, trashy fun. A very guilty pleasure. Personally I prefer Joe Dante's original but Aja knows the audience he's aiming at and delivers a schlocky gorefest filled with requisite amounts of blood and guts and naked breasts. The 3D conversion wasn't the worst I've seen, and, occasionally, added to the overall aesthetic. Particularly where the above pictured young lady in the red bikini is concerned. Now I know this has been said before, but it's definitely worth repeating, Kelly Brook has a body made for 3D. Any filmmakers out there, I hope you're paying attention...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

"Complete geek gasm"

That's how Edgar Wright describes Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which arrives in UK cinemas today. I don't have much to add to the barrage of press and hype that's engulfed the movie in recent months other than to say I enjoyed it very much. It is, as has been widely discussed elsewhere, hugely entertaining, with Wright cramming every single frame with more info, tasty tidbits and general cool stuff than can be enjoyed or even noted in a single viewing. His visual language and cinematic vocabulary is extraordinary, and quite unlike anyone else I can think of. Would I have liked a tad more story? Yes. But did that necessarily spoil my enjoyment? No. See it on the big screen before buying the DVD in a few months' time when you will be pouring over frame to see all the bits you missed.

Gwilym Hughes, RIP

Gwilym Hughes with the late entertainer Roy CastleBack in the early 90s, I spent one Saturday driving from London to North Wales to interview Gwilym Hughes for Empire magazine.

Gwilym (pictured above with the late Roy Castle) had recently made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for having seen the most films.

He was an interesting chap who, as it turned out, rarely went to the cinema, doing most of his watching on TV. And while I wasn't convinced he had seen more films than anybody else, he had records dating back to 1953 of every film he'd seen, up to 14 a week, which helped cement his claim as a record-breaking film fan.

I was sad to see that Gwilym, whose favourite film was Lawrence Of Arabia, passed away earlier this week.

Here's the BBC's obit.

Never Let Me Go posters

Never Let Me Go PostersNever Let Me Go PostersNever Let Me Go Posters

Download these from the film's official website.

Teaser trailer : 127 Hours

Danny Boyle's a unique talent (and a lovely bloke) and from this brief look, his latest looks to be typically Boylesque. He shot 127 Hours with two DPs — Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak — and the tiny HD cameras he and Dod Mantle first used on Slumdog Millionaire. Interesting to note that Boyle gets screenplay credit for the first time, together with Simon Beaufoy.


Thanks to the sterling efforts of a Virgin TV repairman by the name of Dan, I now am online and my TV channels are working. Hallelujah!

Monday, 23 August 2010


I have been experiencing Internet problems for the last few days and posting from an iPhone isn't much fun. Hopefully things will be sorted in the next couple of days. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves. See any good films lately?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fair Game trailer

It's been close to two-and-a-half years since Doug Liman's last film Jumper was released in cinemas and while I wasn't a fan of that particular movie, I have liked everything else he's made and am looking forward to this one. If memory serves, this garnered better than average reviews when it premiered at Cannes in May. Not sure when we'll get to see it in the UK, though. Possibly at the LFF.

There is no bad news

Yesterday's Mad Men post, or rather the title of said post — "First, the good news..." — seemed to cause a little concern among some of you and for that I must apologise. The title was meant to be a film reference and not a precursor of doom and gloom to come. And certainly not to signify that I was about to head off for another two weeks (although another holiday would be nice). So there you have it. There is no bad news. Unless you count Samir Nasri's knee injury. And the fact that the Venice schedule has confirmed my fear that I wouldn't be there when Somewhere screens...

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

First, the good news...

Mad Men season fourThe BBC has decided to bring forward the UK release of Mad Men season 4 from its planned January start to early September. For this, I thank you.


Thompson on Hollywood
I haven't bought Rolling Stone in a very long time. And certainly not since it changed format. But this latest cover has actually got me itching to purchase myself a copy.

Edgar Wright vs Joe Cornish

Last night at the BFI Southbank, gregarious genius Edgar Wright was "grilled" onstage by his friend and sometime co-writer Joe Cornish. Both host and interviewee were in fine form and the two-hour plus chat featured footage galore, including a couple of the Scott Pilgrim director's schoolboy/college films — the hilarious Rolf Harris 2: The Bearded One and Hot Fuzz precursor Dead Right — his Bugsy Malone-inspired music video for The Bluetones, as well as two clips from his debut feature A Fistful Of Fingers which, as Edgar recalled later, was given one-star by Empire magazine when I was editor. What was very apparent from his earliest work, even before Spaced, was how refined and confident and developed and cinematic his style was at such a young age. The event was filmed by the BFI and will be available on its website at a later date.

Black Swan trailer

I love the look of this. That shot with the red eyes. And the one of Natalie Portman pulling the feather (?) out of her skin. Reminds me of good Argento.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I'm Still Here teaser

Bonkers or bluff? You decide.

Monsters trailer

Check it out, over at Apple. I saw this last week and while I'm not allowed to review it yet, I will say it lived up to all expectations.

Monday, 16 August 2010

UPDATED Meet Fincher's girl with the dragon tattoo

Her name's Rooney Mara, she was in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake, she's in The Social Network and she's officially been cast as Fincher's Lisbeth Salander.

UPDATE: I have been reliably informed that the previous photo posted here was actually of Kate Mara, sister of Rooney who can be seen below.

Friday, 13 August 2010

If you go down to the woods today...

127 Hours to close LFF

With his 28 Days Later and Sunshine collaborators Alex Garland and Andrew Macdonald's latest Never Let Me Go opening the 54th London Film Festival, it seems fitting that Danny Boyle's latest 127 Hours will close the event on Thursday October 28.

“Having closed the festival with Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, it is unprecedented for us to choose a Closing Night film from the same director only two years later," said LFF Festival’s Artistic Director Sandra Hebron. "But 127 Hours was the obvious choice for us — with filmmaking as bold and adventurous as its subject matter, it confirms Danny Boyle as one of the world's finest and most visionary directors, and will be a very fitting close to the festival.”

"I am honoured and delighted that 127 Hours has been selected to close the BFI London Film Festival," said Boyle. LFF played a vital role in the journey of Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and it's great to be bringing new work here and renewing a happy partnership. I can't wait to unveil the new film and I hope it provides a worthy climax to what will hopefully be two weeks of great movies for our city."

The full list of this year's films will be announced on September 8.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Tonight's viewing...

Needless to say, I'm very excited.


Hopefully, the teachers can spell better than the painters in North Carolina...

Even more Fincher

Again, as seen through the lens of Mark Romanek.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Back back back

Sorry for the two-week absence, I was on my summer hols, enjoying a near internet-free existence in sunnier and warmer climes than I normally inhabit.

And as to rub further salt into the post-holiday blues wound, it's pouring with rain as I write this in London. Boo-hoo.

Anyways, here's some stuff I missed while I was gone, beginning with two trailers of films that have guilty pleasure writ large all over them: Sucker Punch and Unstoppable

I was also thrilled to learn that Never Let Me Go has been announced as the opening film of the 54th London Film Festival on October 13. It's a no-brainer really. And an astonishing film.